Did you know there's a State of the Union Address tonight?
For those who don't know, there's a Constitutional reference to the State of the Union address. It's at the end of Article II and it goes like this:
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.Perhaps someone should remind dubya about the phrase "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed" at some point. Those signing statements of his obviously run counter to the spirit of that section. Which, by the way, is followed immediately by this part:
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.Something else the Congress seems to have forgotten. But I digress a little.
The AP has put together a chart showing the dubya's approval ratings around the time of his SOTU addresses. Take a look:
February 2001: 62 percent approval.32% is a little low, isn't it? And has anyone noticed that he's lost 62% of his approval numbers since January, 2002? Six out of ten Americans used to approve.
January 2002: 84 percent.
January 2003: 60 percent.
January 2004: 53 percent.
February 2005: 51 percent.
January 2006: 43 percent.
January 2007: 36 percent.
January 2008: 32 percent.
And now they don't.
It's hardly surprising to me that the Congressional approval numbers are also in the toilet (pre-flush). Every step of the way, it seems, the Democratically controlled Congress gives Mr 32% exactly what he wants. What's the point of checks and balances?
But I digress a little. Back to the SOTU.
Here's the AP's take:
It's about the economy, and the war in Iraq, and other unresolved matters that have kept the nation on edge. But President Bush's State of the Union address on Monday is something else, too: probably his last chance to seize the public's attention and put it to use.And:
And the New York Times:
The final State of the Union of the Bush presidency will be roughly split between domestic and foreign matters. Expect few surprises and no big initiatives.
To the degree the speech favors the pragmatic over the bold, the White House offers a two-word explanation: Blame Congress.
"His seventh and probably final"address tonight?? Is there another planned for next week? Next month? As a Summer fill-in if the Hollywood writers' strike continues? Or is dubya planning on extending his awful administration past January, 2009?
For years, President Bush and his advisers expressed frustration that the White House received little credit for the nation's strong economic performance because of public discontent about the Iraq war. Today, the president is getting little credit for improved security in Iraq, as the public increasingly focuses on a struggling U.S. economy.
That is the problem Bush faces as he prepares to deliver his seventh and probably final State of the Union address tonight. For the first time in four years, he will come before Congress able to report some progress in tamping down violence in Iraq.Yet the public appears to have moved on from the war -- and possibly from Bush himself.
The economy has supplanted Iraq as the top public concern, and with voters shifting their focus toward the presidential primaries, Bush faces a steep challenge in persuading Americans to heed his words on the war, economic policy or any other issue, according to administration officials, lawmakers and outside observers.
Too awful to contemplate.
With fear of an impending recession, President Bush on Monday night will use his last State of the Union address to revisit unfinished business and press for quick action to keep the economy afloat, administration officials say.Whew! Last State of the Union address.
We're just all happy that the Bush presidency is coming to an end.